Last week’s vanilla ice cream recipe left me with six egg whites leftover and how better to use them than with a pavlova.
Being Australian, we take our pavlova very seriously and I’ve grown up using the classic recipe comprising egg whites, caster sugar, cornflour and white vinegar.
Unlike meringues, you are looking to maintain a soft, marshmallow centre with your pavlova which is where the vinegar and cornflour come in – they stabilise the eggwhite foam and prevent it from collapsing.
When making pavlova, you need to follow the same tips as with regular meringues – only use clean, grease-free equipment, egg whites at room temperature and ensure there are no pieces of shell or yolk in the whites.
Also, wait until the whites are at soft peak stage before adding the sugar and incorporate one spoon at a time – test the mix by rubbing a bit between your fingers to ensure there is no grainy texture.
And most importantly, don’t forget to pile the pav as high as you can to avoid a flat disc coming out of the oven.
It will collapse as it cools and there’s no real way of knowing how much – I’ve had pavlova come out of the oven and stay perfectly upright, but others like this one crack and crumble a fair bit. Either way, it still tastes amazing so don’t worry too much!
There are many fantastic variations on pavlovas and I can definitely recommend Nigella’s chocolate creation topped with whipped cream and strawberries –
I wanted to use tropical fruit on mine, and opted for yoghurt rather than cream for a bit of extra tartness.
I love the yoghurt that comes with a fruity syrup swirl, especially the passionfruit variety which perfectly matches fresh mango.
This is going to be a perfect end to our family BBQ this afternoon.
Perfect pavlova recipe
6 egg whites
270g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Pre-heat the oven at 120C. Line a baking tray with baking paper, then draw on a 24cm diameter circle.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until you have soft peaks.
Add the sugar one spoonful at a time, then mix until fully incorporated and you have a glossy, smooth mix.
Add the vinegar and cornflour and mix again for one minute.
Use a spatula to transfer the mix across onto the baking paper then smooth the sides and the top.
With your finger, draw a circle an inch from the edge of pavlova top – this will help to prevent it cracking too much. Don’t worry if it does, you can always cover it with your chosen toppings.
Bake for 1.5 hours, then turn off the oven and open the door. Leave to completely cool in the oven.
Top with whipped cream of yoghurt and fresh fruit.